Diabetologia

pp 1–10

Alcohol drinking patterns and risk of diabetes: a cohort study of 70,551 men and women from the general Danish population

  • Charlotte Holst
  • Ulrik Becker
  • Marit E. Jørgensen
  • Morten Grønbæk
  • Janne S. Tolstrup
Article

Abstract

Aims/hypothesis

Alcohol consumption is inversely associated with diabetes, but little is known about the role of drinking patterns. We examined the association between alcohol drinking patterns and diabetes risk in men and women from the general Danish population.

Methods

This cohort study was based on data from the Danish Health Examination Survey 2007–2008. Of the 76,484 survey participants, 28,704 men and 41,847 women were eligible for this study. Participants were followed for a median of 4.9 years. Self-reported questionnaires were used to obtain information on alcohol drinking patterns, i.e. frequency of alcohol drinking, frequency of binge drinking, and consumption of wine, beer and spirits, from which we calculated beverage-specific and overall average weekly alcohol intake. Information on incident cases of diabetes was obtained from the Danish National Diabetes Register. Cox proportional hazards model was applied to estimate HRs and 95% CIs.

Results

During follow-up, 859 men and 887 women developed diabetes. The lowest risk of diabetes was observed at 14 drinks/week in men (HR 0.57 [95% CI 0.47, 0.70]) and at 9 drinks/week in women (HR 0.42 [95% CI 0.35, 0.51]), relative to no alcohol intake. Compared with current alcohol consumers consuming <1 day/week, consumption of alcohol on 3–4 days weekly was associated with significantly lower risk for diabetes in men (HR 0.73 [95% CI 0.59, 0.94]) and women (HR 0.68 [95% CI 0.53, 0.88]) after adjusting for confounders and average weekly alcohol amount.

Conclusions/interpretation

Our findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with risk of diabetes and that consumption of alcohol over 3–4 days per week is associated with the lowest risk of diabetes, even after taking average weekly alcohol consumption into account.

Keywords

Alcohol Alcohol consumption Alcohol drinking patterns Basic science Diabetes Drinking patterns Epidemiology Human Risk Type 2 diabetes mellitus 

Abbreviation

DANHES

Danish Health Examination Survey

Supplementary material

125_2017_4359_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (182 kb)
ESM Tables(PDF 182 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlotte Holst
    • 1
  • Ulrik Becker
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marit E. Jørgensen
    • 1
    • 3
  • Morten Grønbæk
    • 1
  • Janne S. Tolstrup
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Public HealthUniversity of Southern DenmarkCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Gastro Unit, Medical DivisionCopenhagen University Hospital HvidovreHvidovreDenmark
  3. 3.Clinical EpidemiologySteno Diabetes CenterGentofteDenmark

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